14 Dec 2017, Thursday

The Lady Macbeth of Burma

By Maskwaith Ahsan

Published : 2017-09-10 12:20:27

Rohingya genocide under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi, the so-called democratic leader of Myanmar, and the apologist role of China, India and Pakistan in the wake of such brutal ethnic cleansing, draw eerie similarity with the characters of Lady Macbeth and three witches of Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth. Suu Kyi washes her hands over and again, denies any crime against humanity and whispers, “Fair is foul, Foul is fair”.

China offers to take in Rohingya refugees, but Suu Kyi scolds, “Just talk business, don’t meddle in the affairs of my state. Don’t forget, we are a huge market for your products; we have the best reserves of natural resources and a deep seaport facility. India is already seeking our hand in cooperation. So, I don’t have time to talk about Rohingya terrorists.”

China tells Pakistan, “Stop crying about your Muslim brothers in Myanmar or else India will win the heart of Queen Suu Kyi.”

Pakistan obliges by forgetting Rohingyas, the way Bihari Muslims living in Bangladesh were forgotten. Islamabad instead opts to sell fighter jets to Myanmar.

In steps India, into the colorful theatre of Myanmar. Suu Kyi stands next to Modi like Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Modi asks, “Why are you washing your hands over and again. Look at mine; look at how they have turned into roses of red. Brush aside the Rohingyas, just like I have done with Gujarat and Kashmir. Instead let’s cultivate roses.”

The Queen feels like she is on top of the world, with the three witches eagerly waiting upon her.

All this while Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu urges Suu Kyi the Queen to end the military-led operation against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority that has already driven more than a quarter million refugees from their country in just a fortnight. “Silence is too high a price,” he says.

But Lady Macbeth is all set on the stage, with China, Pakistan and India circling around her with baskets full of red roses. It is at this time that the premier of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina breaks the silence and offers shelter to the uprooted Rohingyas.

With three powerful witches around her, Suu Kyi is delusional with power. She knows Bangladesh will have to accept the Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing. Not offering any kind of assistance to the uprooted humanity, the entire South Asia surrenders to the darkness of denial and jumps onto the Queen’s bandwagon. Bangladesh, at such a bloodthirsty moment, shows the light of civilization by offering shelter to the victims of Suu Kyi’s brutality.

The theatre audience screams, “Have you forgotten Suu Kyi the time when you were as helpless as the Rohingyas you are killing today. We shed tears for you when you were repeatedly jailed, we protested for you, we ‘used our liberty to demand yours’, and our voice got you a Nobel Peace Prize for being a messiah of democracy. But today your hands are red with the blood of Rohingyas. You were born a hero but you will die a villain. Maybe that’s your destiny.”

Someone shouts, “Strip the Queen of her Nobel crown, and remove the three witches from the stage.” Another voice from the audience demands to watch The Merchant of Venice, “After all, the witches are more suitable for the role of Shylock.”

The audience starts to wave the picture of a Rohingya girl who died while fleeing on a boat, a little angel under the horrors of the water, eyes full of dried tears saying, “I had a dream to live and love the world. But I was born in a jungle ruled by monsters. So, I am going back to the heaven I never imagined could exist outside my own beautiful little world. I was born to a blue sky, lush green fields, trees full of flowers and restless butterflies. That was my heaven, stolen by the monsters that came to swallow us and burn our homes. As I was running towards the boat with my parents, I turned around and saw my heaven turn into hell in front of my eyes.”
Maskwaith Ahsan : Writer & Journalist

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